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Too Much On Our Mind for Creative Thinking

Our inner experience as talented, creative people could be called “teeming” – as in the title of a book by Jane Piirto, PhD: My Teeming Brain: Understanding Creative Writers.

She notes the title comes from a Keats sonnet with the lines “When I have fears that I may cease to be / before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain…”

[From her article Themes in the Lives of Successful U.S. Adult Creative Writers.]

Creative people may be driven to create more and more, to keep fueling a teeming mind.

But that may also sometimes impede creative thinking and creative expression.

Are people fascinated by so much because of their intellectual development, or does consciously feeding our mind stimulate high level thought and creative ability? Writer Steve Pavlina poses that intriguing question in his book Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth.

He refers to Leonardo da Vinci, who “achieved competence across a diverse set of fields, including art, music, science, anatomy, engineering, architecture, and many others. While some would argue that such wide-ranging interests were a result of his intelligence, I think it’s more likely that they were the cause of it — or at least a major contributing factor.”

From my High Ability site post Stimulating Exceptional Abilities: Pumping Our Teeming Brain.

But being so intellectually and imaginationally intense, and always indulging our predilection to be an infovore may at times impede creativity.

Writer Deborah Ward addresses this downside:

“I cannot write when I’ve got too much on my mind or when I feel stressed or overwhelmed from too much activity. And yet I try to force myself to write in the belief that I will feel better and more relaxed if I do. But I got it the wrong way around. Writing won’t make me feel relaxed. Feeling relaxed will make me write.

“So instead of getting annoyed with myself for not being creative, I need to take steps to help myself deal with and avoid things that steal my sense of calm. Get enough sleep. Avoid stressful people. Go for walks in the country.

“Don’t try to do too much. Spend some time alone thinking and doing things that interest me. All these things make me feel not only more relaxed, but more positive and fulfilled.”

From her post Opening the Door to Creativity.

Deborah Ward “is a journalist based in the U.K. who blogs about life as a Highly Sensitive Person. She also writes short stories, novels and articles for print and online publications.” Her Psychology Today blog is Sense and Sensitivity – ‘The ups and downs of daily life as a Highly Sensitive Person.’

For multiple posts, articles and resources on this personality trait that is so much a part of creative people, see my site Highly Sensitive – Exploring the personal aspects of being a highly sensitive person.

The top image is from, site of Tony Buzan, author of The Mind Map Book.


Too Much On Our Mind for Creative Thinking

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2012). Too Much On Our Mind for Creative Thinking. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Sep 2012
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